Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Recycling Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs)

Long-lasting, energy-efficient compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs) are transforming the way we light our homes. But do you know the right way to dispose of the bulbs when they burn out or break?

If you've ever dropped a tube fluorescent bulb on concrete, you'll recognize the pop and puff of vapor that results. That puff of vapor contains mercury, a toxin and environmental contaminant. A small amount of mercury is also contained in the curlicue tube of a CFL, the energy-efficient bulb that is touted as a great way to go green.

To put your mind at ease, one CFL possesses 100 times less mercury than in an older glass thermometer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Still, because most of the mercury can be recovered if the bulb is intact, recycling is the responsible way to dispose of burned-out CFLs (and tube fluorescent bulbs, too).

Home furnishings retailer IKEA provides recycling bins in all its stores for free and safe CFL disposal (the only major retailer currently offering such a service). But many states and local municipalities are developing similar programs; you can find options listed at Or visit and click on State Lamp Recycling Regulations & Contacts. You can also contact your municipal solid waste agency. If there are no local recycling options, and your state allows it, seal the CFL in two plastic bags and put it in the outside trash. Never incinerate.

If you break a CFL, the EPA recommends the following procedure:

  1. Open a window and leave the room for at least 15 minutes so vapors can disperse.
  2. Wearing disposable rubber gloves, carefully scoop up fragments and powder with stiff paper or cardboard. Then wipe the area clean with a damp paper towel or disposable wet wipe and use sticky tape to pick up small pieces and powder. (Don't use a vacuum cleaner for the initial cleanup; that will just disperse any remaining mercury vapor in the air and leave particles in the bag.)
  3. Place all cleanup materials and gloves in a plastic bag and seal it. Recycle. Or if your state allows it, seal the CFL in two plastic bags and put it in the outside trash. Wash your hands.
  4. The first time you vacuum the area where the bulb was broken, remove the vacuum bag when you're done cleaning (or empty and wipe the canister). Put the bag and/or vacuum debris, as well as the cleaning materials, in two sealed plastic bags and put it in the outdoor trash for normal disposal.

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